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The Best Men’s Tropical Shirt

Last updated on November 21, 2022

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Our Picks For The Top Men's Tropical Shirts

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Product Overview
Key Takeaway
 Top Pick

APTRO Men’s Stretch Hawaiian Tropical Beach Shirt

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APTRO

Men's Stretch Hawaiian Tropical Beach Shirt

Made from stretchy polyester this shirt is both soft and comfortable. It’s machine washable for easy care and available in a wide range of colors. It features a left chest pocket to give you somewhere to store valuables.

Overall Take

Extra ComfortableThe material of this tropical shirt has a little stretch to it to keep you comfortable throughout the day.

 Runner Up

Tropical Storm Men’s Regular Fit Tropical Beach Shirt

Tropical Storm

Men's Regular Fit Tropical Beach Shirt

Both soft and wrinkle resistant, this shirt will keep you looking great while you’re comfortable. You can choose from a variety of patterns, including some with bold, vibrant colors. It comes in sizes from Small to 4X-Large.

Overall Take

Great for Everyday WearBoth comfortable and wrinkle resistant, this tropical shirt is great for everyday wear.

 We Also Like

Johari West Men’s Antigua Hawaiian Batik Tropical Shirt

Johari West

Men's Antigua Hawaiian Batik Tropical Shirt

A classy batik-stamped design and darker color make this tropical shirt suitable for less casual wear. The material is 100 percent natural cotton to give you a soft option that promises to be both fade and shrink resistant. The shirt features side splits to keep things comfortable whether you choose to wear it tucked in or loose.

Overall Take

Versatile OptionThis cotton shirt has a design that makes it suitable for a wide range of environments, from vacation to work.

 Also Great

BOJIN Men’s Pocket Hawaiian Tropical Aloha Shirt

BOJIN

Men's Pocket Hawaiian Tropical Aloha Shirt

Show off your unique style with this 100 percent polyester tropical shirt, which comes in unique designs like pumpkins and pink flamingos. The lightweight build makes this shirt comfortable even during those extra-warm winter months. It’s machine washable for easy cleanup and comes in sizes from Small to 5X-Large.

Overall Take

Unique LookThis polyester tropical shirt comes in a variety of patterns that stand out from traditional designs.

Buying Guide

The warmer months of the year can make it easy to take a close look at your wardrobe. Do you have anything to wear on vacation that will help keep you cool? Certain fabrics promote airflow and wick moisture away from the body to help keep you cool.

When choosing warmer-month attire, it’s important to pay close attention to the weave. Clothing that’s less porous can trap heat, while more porous fabric keeps air moving. Although porous, nonwoven material performs better in warmer weather than woven clothing, looser-fitting clothing can also help let air through to help keep you comfortable and dry.

That’s where a tropical shirt comes in handy. For decades, tropical shirts have been go-to fashion for vacations or just hanging out around the house. Now that office dress codes have become less strict, you may even find that you’re wearing your tropical shirt every day. Tropical shirts are typically worn outside pants, shorts or jeans for an untucked casual look that also keeps air moving. They also usually feature a type of lightweight fabric like cotton or polyester that’s great for beating the hat.

Tropical shirts are based on the original Hawaiian shirt, also known as the Aloha shirt. They feature bold colors, short sleeves and buttons. They’re designed to be worn untucked for a casual look that reminds one of resting and relaxing on an island. Typically, Hawaiian shirts are made to be worn by men, but there are versions for women, too.

While Hawaiian shirts feature a very specific build and look, there are plenty of tropical shirts that borrow the general concept. You can even find designs and patterns that are unique, setting your shirt apart from the flowers and palm trees found on Hawaiian shirts.

What to Look For

  • Wrinkling can be a problem with tropical shirts, especially those made from cotton. Polyester is less prone to wrinkling, but you might want to wear it at home before taking it on vacation to ensure it will make it throughout the day without wrinkling up.
  • Take a close look at the buttons on any shirt you’re considering. You’ll want buttons that will hold up over the years, even if you wear it regularly.
  • Some tropical shirts have chest pockets, which can come in handy for storing items. In many cases, though, it’s more a design element than something useful.
  • Although the untucked nature of tropical shirts makes them somewhat comfortable and breathable, you’ll also want to consider stretchability. Some polyester versions have a little stretch to them so when you’re sitting or reaching, the fabric moves with you.
  • If you’re looking for a tropical shirt you can wear to the office on casual day, you can find some with more subtle designs. They’ll give you the same comfort without screaming “vacation.”
  • Cotton can be prone to shrinking. If you opt for a cotton shirt, look for one made from cotton that’s less prone to shrinking or has been preshrunk.
  • Some tropical shirts have side splits to give a little leeway when you’re wearing them. This can make a substantial difference in comfort level.
  • If you’re looking for something a little different, you can find tropical shirts that take a twist on the theme, including patterns like pumpkins for wearing on Halloween and Santas for the holiday season.
  • Tropical shirts come in a variety of sizes, but since they’re designed to be worn untucked, some can run larger than advertised. Pay attention to the measurements, if available, and compare them to a similar shirt in your closet that fits well.
  • You can find tropical shirts in plus sizes. You might be a little more limited in designs and colors, but there are still plenty to choose from.

More to Explore

The tropical shirt owes its popularity to a man named Ellery Chun, who owned King-Smith Clothiers & Dry Goods in Waikiki. Chun designed the clothing item in the 1930s, with his shirts first gaining widespread notice in an ad in the Honolulu Advertiser in 1935.

Soon, Chun’s creation became popular with both locals and tourists, which meant they were constantly sold out, forcing him to make more. But within a few years, businesses began copying Chun’s design, with similar tropical shirts showing up in retail stores in the area. The look gained notice throughout the U.S. after World War II, when servicemen and women returned home wearing the shirts, only growing as Hawaii became a popular tourist destination in the 1950s.

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